Journalist report, 02/25/17 – Sol 13: Water games.
We started this sol with very bad news: the water pump we use to refill the indoor tank from the outdoor one was not responding, and we only had 4 gallons (15 L) left. Enough to flush twice, to take two showers, to drink for a bit more than one day… But we had to wash dishes, and cook, which also requires a huge amount of water because of the food we have to rehydrate. We didn’t hear any noise coming from the pump so that we believed that it was an electrical issue, or a problem coming from it, but kept in mind that the temperature during the night would have allowed it to freeze easily. We decided to first go on EVA, so that we might see if there was any problem outside.
The EVA was supposed to start with an outdoor water tank refill, but we found out that the portable pump we use for it wasn’t functioning too. It had stayed in the engineering airlock so that it might be frozen too. We aborted the refill and the EVA started by giving another try with the solar balloon. This time it went right: Simon, in charge of the experiment, leading this EVA deployed it along with Arthur, Louis and Mouâdh. They used the spot we determined before, and let it fly there for the whole EVA, while they left for “the Moon” again, this time with Arthur and his sextant, in order to let him measure coordinates in this new location. At the same time, Xavier was trying to find out what was wrong with the pump, and one hour later, it started again as usual. It must have frozen during this night, even if it was in the airlock. We had solved one problem, but the main pump was not working yet, even if we had tried to put hot water on the outside pipe coming out of the tank.
The EVA went fine on the North, with some new beautiful shots from Louis, while the balloon was doing fine, oscillating slowly from the ground to 50 meters high. When they came back, we had prepared every pan and bowl we had in the hab, for an emergency refill. The 4 gallons we had didn’t allow us to cook the meal. The EVA members, back from their mission, spent 15 minutes and lost a lot of water filling up all the stuff we had let in the engineering airlock. About 5 minutes after all this trouble, the main pump decided to restart working… Water must have frozen in the outdoor pipe too. Anyway it ended up well even if we had to move around 10 gallons of water in the stairs (that are closer to a ladder by the way).
Tomorrow, we will begin with our last experiment: simulating emergency situations in EVA. Victoria and I will be the only one to remain in the hab in the morning, while 4 crew members will experiment it being led by Xavier.
The Hab is definitely not made to host a crew for more than two weeks:
we spent the first 12 Sols of a typical two-week rotation perfectly
safe in our little haven, and now that we reached the fateful Sol 13,
it seems that the Hab is trying to kill us all… some say that it was
built on a Martian cemetery. Moreover, we feel like a small family
that would take care of an isolated hotel in the middle of the winter,
if you see what I mean.
This morning, Simon, Mouâdh, Louis Maller and I deployed the balloon
north of the Hab and then visited the grey landscapes of the Moon-like
area. Meanwhile inside the Hab, Xavier, Louis Mangin and Victoria
faced a rather critical issue: no water flowed up from the exterior
tank to the upper deck tank, and we only had 15L (4 gal) left in the
latter. In our referential, it represents 2 showers, or 2 flushes, or
a little less than what is needed to cook and wash the dishes. Water
is everything for us, particularly since most of our food needs to be
rehydrated… Fortunately, just before twelve, nature stopped playing
with our nerves and pushed the ice cubes out of the pump.
Unsurprisingly, the night was so cold that the pipes were frozen. The
melting happened just in time for the return of the brave explorers!
In the afternoon, Simon and Xavier established a set of emergency
procedures for medical issues happening outdoors. Indeed, we want to
try some first-aid moves during later EVAs, after having adapted them
to our spacesuits and vehicles.
The obscure force that seems to inhabit the Hab struck again later in
the afternoon. When one of us climbed to the loft to take a look at
the water counter, this unfortunate fellow fell violently off the
fourth bar of the ladder, because of the lack of an upper bar to hold
on to. Everyone else rushed to the injured crewmember and moved him to
the sofa. We were quick and efficient, and did not go easy on
anti-pain medication and ice. Luckily, the Fallen Astronaut is now
safe and sound. The Overlook Hote… sorry, the Hab will not trap us so
Commander of the Shining-proof Crew 175
EVA Report 25/02/2017
Crew members: Simon Bouriat (EVA leader), Louis Maller, Arthur Lillo and
Mouadh Bouayad (EVA buddies)
• Around the Hab
• North of the Hab (12N 518750, 4252750) if time remaining.
Vehicles used: Deimos, 2×350 ATV
Departure time: 9:05 AM
Return time: 12:15 PM
Duration: 3 hours
One of the best EVAs I did since the beginning.
We first experimented with the solar balloon. It actually worked pretty
well despite the variable wind. We succeeded in shooting videos with the
GoPro from inside the balloon’s platform and we also put the Arduino
system to get the temperature and pressure variations. Everything went
well but because of the large ups and downs of the balloon we stayed for
almost an hour and a half to be sure that it wouldn’t break.
After that, we took Deimos and two ATVs and went to the North. We
finally reached beige moon, grey moon and then yellow moon and took
amazing pictures. Our commander tried to locate us with the sextant but
the map he printed wasn’t precise enough to get the three landmarks
needed. And unfortunately, the glasses went unexpected out of range
shortly after the beginning of the EVA. But we observed that the battery
kept them working during the entire 3 hours so we will take them again
on a next EVA.
Green Hab Report – Sol 13
Report written by: Victoria DA-POIAN (Crew Biologist)
Date : 02/25/2017
Functionality: The heater in the green hab is working well. Today was a very sunny day and warmer than yesterday. I checked the temperature in the GreenHab this morning. It was around 41 Celsius degrees around 11:00 AM while the temperature in the tunnel was around 3.8 Celsius degrees. I switched on the cooler (on stage 3).
The GreenHab temperature was 18 Celsius degrees at 5:00PM while it was 6 Celsius degrees in the tunnel. I then cut the cooler and watered the seedlings.
Status: The existing seedlings in the greenhab are continuing to grow well. There are spinach, lettuce, radish, and beans growing very well in the small pots. A new lettuce has been planted today. Another lettuce is not looking well, we will probably harvest it soon and plant a new one.
The Vegidair has been is functionning very well. We were able to see taller sprouts of lettuce and of « roquette » today in the Vegidair than in the similar pots I put in the GreenHab, but those in the GreenHab have also taken well.
SOL SUMMARY REPORT SOL 13